The wraps have come off the new Nissan X-Trail at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show – and it will go on sale in July 2014. The 4x4 gets a sleek new look inspired by the brand’s popular Qashqai and Juke models as well as an array of high tech driver aids.
Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn told Auto Express: “It will be built in five plants worldwide and sold in over 100 markets. It’s another segment busting model for us, like the Juke and the Qashqai.”
As you can see from our photos, the hard angles and box-shaped design of the previous generation X-Trail have gone. In profile, the new X-Trail looks like a beefed-up Qashqai, with a sharply raked windscreen, a roof line that tapers off gently and high wheel arches bulging from the flanks.
There are a number of signature Nissan design touches, such as the aggressive, hawk-eye headlamps outlined with LED daytime running lights and the boomerang-shaped rear lights.
Nissan is promising that the new style-focused X-Trail won’t lose any of its go-anywhere ability. A spokesman said: “New X-Trail is just as tough and accomplished as the previous generation model, but adds crossover style and efficiency, exciting design, innovative technology and exceptional comfort to set a new benchmark in the fiercely competitive C-SUV market.”
It will get the firm’s advanced, electronic ALL MODE 4x4i system, which gives drivers a choice between two-wheel drive, Auto mode or permanent four-wheel drive via a switch on the centre console.
In Auto mode, the system constantly monitors the throttle, engine speed and torque to anticipate and combat wheel spin, distributing torque between the front and rear axles as necessary.
The X-Trail also gets two brand new technologies: Active Ride Control and Active Engine Break. The first monitors the road surface to detect bumps and alters the damping to compensate. The latter aids the driver by adding engine braking when the car is cornering or decelerating to a standstill for better and faster braking control.
Active Trace Control will also feature – a system currently only found in the Infiniti M. It uses on-board sensors to monitor speed, steering angle, throttle opening and braking effort to brake the individual wheels as necessary to reduce understeer.
Uphill Start Support and Advance Hill Descent Control complete the array of technological aids.
The classy interior features a minimalist design, with high-quality materials finished in chrome and black. There will be a choice of cloth or leather for the seating, and the option of two extra seats to make the X-Trail a seven-seater.
Despite the fashion-model looks, the X-Trail majors in practicality, too. The rear side doors open to almost 80 degrees – far wider than normal – to allow easy access and loading. And leg room has been increased compared to the old model thanks to a longer wheelbase.
There’s also a double load floor for flexible storage options. It allows the cargo area to be portioned into upper and lower areas, to allow for the storage of – for example – a push chair in the lower half and smaller, lighter items in the compartment above.
There’s no word on the engine line-up or economy figures as yet, but Nissan is promising class-leading efficiency thanks to the X-Trail’s reduced weight and aerodynamics, in fact the engines are claimed to be 20% more efficient.